Judge denies John Jonchuck’s request for new trial

Pinellas County

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A judge has denied the request for a new trial for a man who was found guilty of dropping his daughter to her death from a St. Petersburg bridge.

John Jonchuck was found guilty of first-degree murder back in April for dropping his 5-year-old daughter Phoebe to her death off the Dick Misener bridge. A Pinellas County jury reached the unanimous verdict after 14 days of testimony and six hours of deliberations.

Jonchuck was sentenced to life in prison but requested a new trial just a week after being convicted. His defense attorneys argued that mistakes made during the trial as well as new standards in evaluating expert testimony should result in a new trial.

Circuit Judge Chris Helinger denied the motion for a new trial, according to documents released Tuesday.

“The remained grounds raised in the defendant’s motion for new trial are without merit and do not warrant comment,” the document said. “The defendant’s motion for new trial is denied.”

Jonchuck now has 30 days to file an appeal if he chooses to do so.

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